Author's note: Well, I finally got inspired for another Lucian ficlet. I was happy to write him again, but it ended up taking on a life of its own, and it turned out much differently than planned. Oh, well, that's how it often goes. Anyway, please review, reviews are highly appreciated.

Disclaimer: I don't own, don't sue. Savvy?


SLAVE

Sometimes I question myself.

My pack, they never question me. They wonder over my methods, my decisions, my rules, my orders, but they never doubt me, they never look at me with a flicker of fear and distrust in their eyes. They follow my orders, they follow me. They depend on me.

It is a great responsibility to be depended on. I didn't know the full weight of it when I undertook this position. I didn't comprehend how large this would get, how long this would last.

All I wanted was retribution, for Sonja, for our child, for myself, for my kind. All I wanted was to see Viktor fall by my hand, to gain equality and freedom, true freedom, for my species. All I wanted was to see us win, to led us into victory.

I didn't know it would be so hard. I didn't know my hatred and my anger pitted against Viktor's would result in this full fledged battle against the complete genocide of lycans. I didn't know that it would all depend on me. I didn't know that I would bear this burden. I didn't know that I would be this selfish.

Sometimes, I question myself. I question my motives. I question my loyalty to my pack, I question my devotion to a memory, I question my sanity.

Being leader is a burden I have taken, and I would see no other have it, for selfish and selfless reasons alike. I love my kind and I fight for them. I love my princess and I fight for her. I hate myself and I fight to reach the day when I can finally be free.

Until the day I die, I will always be a slave. I will die fighting this war, or I will die once I've seen it end. Until I die, I am a slave still. I no longer wear a brand burned into my flesh, I no longer cower in fear of displeasing the vampires and earning a lashing. But I am a slave to my memories, to my hatred, to my people.

I cannot kill the vampires, I cannot walk abroad and let them know of me. I skulk in the shadows, hiding, biding my time, sending my pack out to do my bidding. It sounds like I am a predator wolf, merely waiting for the time to strike. But I am a hunting dog, waiting for its master to give the word. I am a slave to these plans and to the responsibility of the others.

One careless move and all could be lost.

If I should fall, they could all die.

They have lost many, and they have sacrificed. I have asked them to, and they have, and they follow me still. They have lost, suffered, and I have cried for them and myself. We have all lost so much, sacrificed so much, and it sometimes seems as if it will never stop.

Sometimes it seems as if I am not leading them towards the end of the war into peace, but into that genocide Viktor longs for. Sometimes it seems as if we're almost reaching the peace we've so longed for.

I am a slave, and I am a tyrant. I've become that which I hate most.

I have seen things my pack only dreams of in their nightmares. I have seen our kind bow to the will of vampires, I have seen our kind branded and whipped and caged like animals. I have seen our kind hunted down like dogs and tortured before being put out of their misery and their corpses spat upon and trampled. I have endured slavery to vampires, I have lost to their bloodlust and their fears. I have sacrificed my freedom to fight for my species'.

I have bled and cried for my pack, and they have given me even more. I have subjected us all to hiding, to attacking from darkness as if we were light fearing leeches ourselves. I have seen our wills be broken and then mended, becoming stronger.

They will soon be free of this existence. So will I. They will leave in the light and the night, and they will fear no one.

And I will die a slave.